THE COMING OF TYRANTS II


De ce nu a putut scăpa Africa de sărăcie? Iată pe unii dintre prietenii lui Ceauşescu.

Weapons and Warfare

Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the self-proclaimed emperor of the Central African empire, after crowning himself in 1977.

The coronation took place on 4 December 1977 at the Palais des Sports ;, on Bokassa Avenue, next to the Université Jean-Bedel Bokassa. To the strains of Mozart and Beethoven, wearing a twenty-foot-long red-velvet cloak trimmed with ermine, Bokassa crowned himself and then received as a symbol of office a six-foot diamond-encrusted sceptre.

The spectacle of Bokassa’s lavish coronation, costing $22 million, in a country with few government services, huge infant mortality, widespread illiteracy, only 260 miles of paved roads and in serious economic difficulty, aroused universal criticism. But the French, who picked up most of the bill, curtly dismissed all such criticism. ‘Personally,’ said the French Cooperation Minister, Robert Galley, who represented Giscard at the coronation, ‘I find it quite extraordinary to criticise what is to take place in Bangui while finding the Queen…

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